The Top Way to Add Service Revenue Every Month May Surprise You

The Top Way to Add Service Revenue Every Month May Surprise You by Patrick Southward | DrivingSales

03/16/2018

If you’re like most dealers, you’re continually working to maximize your service revenue stream. Focusing on your service department makes sense. Forbes estimates that more than 40 percent of a dealership’s overall income can originate from the service department. The newest and most effective way to turn your service department into a cash cow? Text messaging. Texting is tailor-made for the service environment, where customers want to be updated often, clear communication is key to seal approvals and increase revenue opportunities, and keeping techs in their bays can add hundreds of dollars a day to your bottom-line.

How customers communicate today

Texting is the most common form of communication for American adults under 50, according to Gallup. Why do people love texting? It’s fast and easy. Some estimate it’s 10 times faster than picking up the phone, and the average response time for a text is only 90 seconds. No wonder cloud communications platform Twilio found that 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses. Twilio also found that messaging is the number one preferred customer support channel in the country.

Make it work for your service department

How can your service department respond to today’s consumers preference for texting? The only reasonable answer is to adopt technology and marketing strategies that prioritize text over talk. There are providers in the space that offer mobile-first platforms for customer communications, vehicle inspections, payments, and internal chat. With everything on one platform, you simplify the entire process for your customers and your department. You can expect:

1. A faster service process.

Your service providers or BDC employees can communicate directly with customers through text. They can attach photos or videos to get approval for needed repairs, set-up automated texts so customers can track the repair process, generate quotes, and send mobile invoices that a customer can pay online before picking up the vehicle.

2. A text compliance trail.

Phone conversations can be difficult to recall, especially hours after the conversation. With text, your customers and your service department have an easily retrievable transcript of the conversation. Some platforms also electronically store all conversations and documents to ease compliance worries.

3. Greater customer loyalty.

A mobile platform helps create a customer experience that is far from expected, which leads to greater loyalty. Once a vehicle is dropped off, customers get regular text updates so there’s no anxiety around timing or cost. Mobile pay features get them in and out of the door quickly. Repeat customers can also text the dealership to set up appointments for maintenance or repairs. All this greatly improves loyalty and profitable repair orders.

4. More appointments and more revenue.

Text messaging contributes to a highly efficient process, ultimately allowing your service department to service more vehicles in a shorter amount of time. From internal chat functionality that keeps techs at their bays, to time saved in texting customers for approvals instead of ineffective “phone-tag” games or voicemail, everyone is connected through a fast and efficient channel that saves a ton of time and opens up revenue opportunities.

Text messaging is not something you can ignore in your service department. To maximize your service revenue and customer satisfaction, look no further than your phone.


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